A MAN from Penarth will be the first openly gay Welshman to compete in the British Bodybuilding Finals.

No only that, but he will be the first competitor from Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Anthony Stingl, 29, recently achieved second place in the London PCA Bodybuilding Show which won him a certificate to advance to the British Finals.

Mr Stingl said: "It felt great to achieve it, after having spent four years from my last PCA show training to improve for competitions as well as spending since March preparing for the show.

"I know I wasn’t far off first place but to get the recognition on stage for my hard work felt amazing and to be invited to the British Finals was even better as I know that’s offered only to athletes the judges believe can compete at a national level."

The achievement caps a difficult few years for Mr Stingl and the sport in general due to the Covid pandemic which shattered Mr Stingl's plans to compete during 2020.

Through 2020 and 2021, he found it difficult to focus on training due to gyms being unreliable and he only had an elastic band to use in training for much of lockdown.

But his love of the sport he has been involved in since he was 13 won out, despite him only competing in three shows since he was 19.

He still lives in Penarth and trains in Cardiff.

"I get asked a lot about how I stay motivated or if I really like prepping for shows or not and I honestly love it all," said Mr Stingl.

"It’s not easy but that’s what makes it feel better, because it’s a challenge.

"I wouldn’t want to do it if it was easy to do and it’s taught me so much about being committed and consistent and always going into the gym and doing a little better each week."

He regrets his choice of entering a show then taking years out to improve, but has now resolved to compete on a yearly basis now his body feels capable enough to do well consistently.

Mr Stingl said: "I’ll definitely be competing more and more frequently in the future, I love performing anyway so it’s the best of both worlds for me and it’s something I live and breathe.

"The only show right now I’m focusing on is the British finals next month, as it involves the top athletes from all the regional shows.

"It won’t be easy, but again, it’s great to have a challenge and go for it and that’s what I plan on doing."